Debbie Hayton, a science teacher who transition to a woman as an adult, has said that she is concerned the treatment at the only NHS gender clinic for children is “dangerous”.
This comes as after The Times reported that at least 18 staff members had quit the clinic over the past three years, because of concerns over the treatment of the children.
Clinicians had said they were concerned some children struggling with their sexuality had been wrongly diagnosed as “transgender” by the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic.
Ms Hayton told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright that it “seemed to be some form of gay conversion therapy”.
Referrals to the clinic have increased within the last decade, with numbers going from 94 in 2010, to 2,519 by 2018.
NHS staff would decide if children should be given hormone blockers to stop their development before puberty.
Ms Hayton said she was concerned about the “dangerous” impact of the blockers because “the effects on cognitive development are unknown”.
She added: “We are taking children and putting them on a track that could mean possible medication for life and taking away their fertility. This is major.”
Ms Hayton suggested that taking the puberty blockers could lead to children taking “cross-sex hormones”.
It was reported at GIDS that the patients then take a course of cross-sex hormones when they reach 16 depending on whether they want to develop as male or female.
Ms Hayton said: “The other side is the children who have their puberty delayed see their friends going through puberty and are left behind.
“The pressure is then for cross-sex hormones to be administered, which do have long-term consequences. It is not wise and it is dangerous.”
GIDS, which is part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, denied the claims.
A spokesman told the Times: “It is only in recent years that the number of young people attending specialist services worldwide has dramatically increased.
“Prior to this the numbers have been small and it has therefore been difficult to collect sufficient evidence to fully evaluate treatment pathways.
“We and other specialist services worldwide are actively engaged in research to better understand the characteristics and needs of young people attending specialist services.”